I get asked a lot about my career journey. How I wound up being a full-time blogger and what I did beforehand.
So, here it is:
MY CAREER JOURNEY
As humans, we tend to follow in footsteps of ideals.
I think I’d be quite confident to say that most of us set a bar for ourselves. That by a certain age we’d like to have achieved this, or done that. Now don’t get me wrong, I think goals are super important, we all need something to work towards. But are traditional ideals ‘goals’, or hurdles we think we have to jump? I know that line can definitely be blurred for me sometimes.
So, here is my somewhat, seemingly unconventional career path.
Since day dot I have battled with being an academic. Learning is something I find very difficult. Give me a song, I’ll have memorised the lyrics in 30 seconds, but when it comes to education I really fall short.
My brain finds it hard to take in information and store it for a long period of time, so throughout school I really struggled. My difficulty with it lead to erratic and attention seeking behaviour; I think I thought if I was the centre of attention it would distract from the fact I wasn’t academically bright. Who knows?
Throughout school I was bullied and spent more time worrying about what people thought of me, than whether my education might be suffering.
I was in bottom sets for most classes and the subjects I excelled in were theatre based and weirdly, Geography.
I came out with only a few GCSE’s at pass level and I’ve never spoken about that openly because I was too embarrassed.
Leaving school I decided to go on to College and study Musical Theatre. I loved to sing and act and dreamed of going on to stage school and hopefully winding up on the West End.
I graduated my course with a triple distinction and loved every second.
The next step of applying to schools soon came around and I freaked. I started to doubt my ability and knew straight away that if I couldn’t maintain the ‘I’m the best’ attitude, I would fall down before I’d even made the first step. The arts are such a competitive industry and self-belief is imperative.
My self-doubt coupled with a new, serious relationship meant I made the choice to stay home. I didn’t want to continue further study. Especially if I wasn’t 100% sure on what I wanted to do. Knowing I would come out the other end reeling in debt, I felt I needed to be confident that the subject was at least something I wanted to do.
Everything happens for a reason and I will never regret the choices I made as a young adult. Although I do often wonder what an audition for Arts Ed or Mountview might’ve been like.
Fast forward a few months and I’m 17 years old with a full-time job and a flurry of money I didn’t know what to do with.
I applied for jobs through a local agency and landed a position working for a charity, helping to raise awareness for their fundraisers. I truly loved it and stayed for a good few years before moving to Nottingham to be with my boyfriend at the time. He’d just secured a spot on a master’s course and would be away working intensely for the whole year; so I made the choice to go and be with him.
Within that time I worked in recruitment, which I can say hand on heart is absolutely, 200% not for me. It was nasty and cutthroat in a way that I don’t believe is healthy and I swiftly left the company and temped until we came back home.
MY SECOND JOB
For the next five years I worked in Interior Design, via their Project Management team. It was wonderful to be stepping back into a creative industry.
During that time I had the realisation that I’d settled. I had become happy to do a job I’d simply fallen into. One I most certainly didn’t have any goals or ambitions to further my career in, either.
For a lot of my life I have had very little self-confidence. Whether it’s others telling me I wasn’t good enough or me making that assumption – it manifested and made me complacent.
I’d become reliant on what earning a wage meant, rather than what fulfilled me – which; at the time, I thought I was happy with.
Jump to 2012 – I’d discovered Zoe’s blog and was blown away that it was even a thing. I found myself checking her website daily to see if she’d posted anything new. And after a few months of being what I can only describe as her number one
fan stalker, I started Wonderful You.
Born as a hobby that I loved so deeply, I was beyond excited to have something I could express myself through creatively. Talking about anything and everything I wanted to.
It was then that I realised how unfilled I was in my job. The pure joy that Wonderful You gave me, before gifting, or sponsored posts were even a thing. I loved it for exactlywhat it was, a hobby that made me no money but made me happier than anything else had in a long, long time.
I put so much time and energy in, joining weekly Twitter chats to get to know my community. Writing blog posts on my lunch break (and sometimes during working hours when I wasn’t busy – yes I did get told off, no I don’t advise it). And attending any events I could.
WORKING FOR MYSELF
It was a few years before I started making any kind of money through it.
Yeah, at the time there were a bunch of people who were starting to become successful through blogging and YouTube. But it was still relatively small and not a hugely known thing for it to earn you a wage.
I genuinely couldn’t believe it the first time someone asked for my ‘fee’. I don’t remember exactly where I was, but I imagine I nearly fell off my chair, or wet myself, or both.
And after two more years of hard work I made the decision to leave my job and pursue blogging full-time.
I had broken up with my boyfriend, moved back home and it just felt like the right time to give it a go. I knew I’d have minimal outgoings for a brief period, so it gave me the flexibility to be able to take the financial risk. And having made the decision that my current job wasn’t really taking me anywhere, I said to myself that if blogging didn’t work out I could always get another job.
Fast-forward two and a half years and here we are – so far, so good.
Working for myself has allowed me to express my creativity, feel fulfilled in what I do, and earn a wage that supports me.
I don’t earn hundreds of thousands of pounds. And the anxiety of whether invoices will clear in time for me to pay my mortgage is still very, very real.
But I am SO happy.
I’m glad I didn’t make the decision to go to University or Stage School. Especially when I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted at the end of it.
I’m proud that I went straight into work and learned what financial responsibility looked like from a younger age.
I’m happy that old Megan was brave and took a chance on this Megan’s career.
People told me I wouldn’t be successful, some laughed and belittled me, but for once I didn’t listen. I knew how much it meant to me, and that if I tried hard enough I could make something of it. I knew I could make something of myself.
And I did, I am.
I hope you found this interesting and that it answers any questions you may have about my career path. Who knows where the next few years will lead me? I think as I have done in the past, I’ll continue to play it by ear. Just this time around I’ve got a little more confidence in tow.
And as cheesy as it sounds, please know that you are enough. That no matter what society, or anyone tells you, you can do and be whoever you want to.
SHOP MY LOOK
Photography by Shweta Shukla